After a nine-month renovation project, the Riu Plaza Miami Beach has reopened with a fresh look for the lobby, new outdoor bar and restaurant, updated guest rooms and new name.
Once known as the Sans Souci, the Morris Lapidus-designed property at 3101 Collins Ave. became Hotel Riu Florida Beach in 1996.
Riu Hotels & Resorts, the Spanish company that owns the hotel, decided to place the property under its city brand, Riu Plaza, to make sure guests had the right expectation, according to sales director Manuel Donoso.
“There was a misconception that we were all-inclusive like in other destinations,” he said. The company has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries; more than 70 percent of the properties are all-inclusive.
The Miami Beach location is the third in the line of Riu Plaza hotels, after Panama and Guadalajara. A Berlin property is set to open in September, followed by a 655-room hotel in New York City by the end of the year.
“It’s kind of a business and billboard effect,” Riu Plaza managing director Ricardo Luque Ferrandez said of the new 24-story building in New York’s Times Square. “We were thinking about that for more than 30 years.”
Back in Miami, the renovated property actually reopened on Feb. 11, just in time for Presidents’ Day weekend crowds.
“Once we reopened, we opened with a full house,” Donoso said.
For the summer, rates start at $159 for standard rooms.
Donoso and others at the hotel are now trying to spread the word that the Riu is open again. A cocktail party for partners, distributors and suppliers was scheduled for Friday night.